Saturday, May 05, 2007

A spot of Howard bashing

(... Just for a change. And because it’s so unfashionable.)

The kick-off is a throwaway line in the paper today:

Two months after he was unceremoniously dumped from the Howard ministry, Western Australian senator Ian Campbell announced yesterday he was retiring from politics...

We’re all sincerely very happy for Senator Campbell, of course, and who cares what colour his parachute is. The simile “like a rat off a sinking ship” couldn’t be further from our lips.

The report, however, is inaccurate. Campbell was in fact “dumped” with great ceremony, as befitting a sacrificial lamb on the Prime Minister’s altar of political expediency.

With Labor Opposition leader Kevin Rudd firmly in his sights, Mr Howard in early March staged a lavish valediction for Campbell:

“It is with regret that I accepted the resignation of Senator Ian Campbell and I’m extremely sorry that this event has occurred,” Mr Howard said.

“It’s important to note that the circumstances of Ian Campbell’s meeting with Brian Burke were entirely different from those surrounding Mr Rudd’s meetings with Brian Burke.

“The meeting occurred in the normal course of the operation of Senator Campbell’s then portfolio and the circumstances were entirely benign.

“Senator Campbell was not seeking any favour, support, preferment or patronage from Mr Burke.

“It was nonetheless an error of judgment, given all of the circumstances surrounding Mr Burke, that Senator Campbell should have met him.’’ ...

Mr Howard said by resigning, Senator Campbell had behaved with total honour and integrity and his reputation remained intact.

In about a hundred fewer words, the shorter version:

Campbell goooood. Rudd baaaad.

Ian resigned. Why not Kev?

Thus Campbell, blameless as a spring lamb, presented himself for ritual slaughter, and was lauded accordingly.

But, of course, the PM had to ‘let him go’ because his Treasurer, aiming for Rudd, had set the bar so high with the statement that, “Anyone who deals with Mr Brian Burke is morally and politically compromised.


Moving along, and almost entirely unrelatedly, the following opens an article, purporting to be ‘analysis’, by Dennis Shanahan:

When John Howard sees a hole in the fence, he doesn’t hesitate; he’s through it and away. ...

The phrase “like a thief in the night” might leap to mind, but Shanahan goes on to elaborate — approvingly, it seems — on how Mr Howard is just about the most diabolically, deviously clever politician around.

  • Memo Dennis: We know!!!!


Blogger Caz said...

A rainbow parachute, of the finest fabric, would be my guess.


Howard has always been much admired for his rat cunning. Primarily by other men, although I guess some women are equally smitten.

It's no small irony that the man so frequently touted as old fashioned and still living in the '50s, is demonstrably promiscuous, with remarkably flexible personal morals and ethics.

6/5/07 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

I agree Caz.

His outward appearance might look '50 ish, but, HE CERTAINLY is extemely pliable ...and chameleon like.

Cunning as a shithouse rat, is the expression I believe!

Aww Caz, Darn it mate.. You would do so well in politics. You are so perceptive..
And ... What an alternative to that lizard eh?

6/5/07 8:53 PM  
Blogger Jacob A. Stam said...

Gasp!! My blog has become one of those Howard-hater sites. Sshhh, don't tell Harry...

Kidding. This is all just healthy scepticism, in the best democratic traditions.

It is simply remarkable, though, how the man is SO POLARISING.

Which may be another word for 'divisive' ... unngghhh, stop it, Jacob...

6/5/07 10:06 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Jeez Kath, I'd have to cut my hair, just when it's getting half way down my back!

7/5/07 8:41 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

But that's the thing Jacob: I don't hate Howard. He's just a politician. I barely even hate people I know personally, let alone strangers.

Realistically: Howard has wasted his time as PM, by which I mean, his sole focus has been staying in power, not improving the country. He only got away with this because of prolonged and seemingly unending prosperity.

He has cruised, instead of using such joyful economic times to invest and implement changes to protect our future wellbeing, and that of future generations.

Howard, through his own actions & obsessive self-interest, essentially leaves no legacy.

It has been a hollow reign.

I find that disappointing: that a person, repeatedly given such an opportunity, does nothing with it.

7/5/07 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Father Park said...

Cruised indeed.

What often is forgotten here is that plenty of rat cunning people existed in the fifties.

The fellow's recidivist social views are somehow pre-fifties. He was at it again today: sanctimoniously intoning that the best "child care" is a stay at home parent. For fuck's sake, he just doesn't let up.

He has been all about choice, of course, just the singular choice. All policy in this area -- almost without fear of contradiction -- has been to reward the stay at home parent.

Of course we know that this parent should be a mother.

Many times both parents work as there is no other way. What Howard fails to understand is that, occasionally, women choose to work -- need or no.

And yes, he's wasted the better part of eleven years. Aside from the ideological cold war, turned hot by Work Choices, against the union movement and his long nurtured crush on a GST there is precious little.

Now we have University funding. Funding which, up until now, has been wrapped in the ideological grip of AWAs for staff and will now -- seemingly -- be tied to states handing over the running of Unis to the feds.

It's taken until an election year, eleven years on, for this government to produce a coherent higher education (or any education) policy. A policy with many an ideological string attached.

10/5/07 10:36 PM  
Blogger Jacob A. Stam said...

With Tony Blair standing down in favour of his Treasurer, one wonders what's been going through Tip Costello's mind these last months.

I really feel for the poor ol' Tip.

No, really... I do!!

Belieeeeve me, I dooooo.

11/5/07 9:39 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Father Park - capitalism and its close friend consumerism long ago put an end to the idea of a single income household.

The machine needs women to be working.

Jacob - I too feel for old Tip, and as he is my local member, he is highly likely to get number one on my ballot this time.

I think I only put him at two or three last time, but not this year, no siree. He needs the encouragment. A sympathy vote is still a real vote.

12/5/07 7:49 PM  
Blogger Jacob A. Stam said...

A sympathy vote is good, but I dare say Tip would be happy with an abject-pity vote, at this stage of the game.

15/5/07 10:29 PM  

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